Supreme Court on Prop 8; Reforming the RFP Process; Organizing for Obama; CPUC Lifeline Proposal; Berkeley Bowl Workers …

by on May 28, 2009

To the Editor:

Paul Hogarth explains clearly why the Supreme Court decision is unjust, and an embarrassment to freedom loving, equality minded Californians. The fact that this court ruled for separate and therefore inherently unequal treatment of LGBT Californians suggests that they personally cannot get past popular prejudice to do what’s right. They demonstrated “Just us” instead of justice. May 26th, 2009 will go down as yet another striking blow that straight institutional power has wielded against the gay minority.

Dr. Davina Kotulski

To the Editor:

Thanks for your work here, Paul! This is such an emotionally charged issue for so many, but it’s important to understand the court’s logic on its own terms. It really does seem like they started from the conclusion that treating classes of people differently under the law is okay as long as it doesn’t amount to any loss of rights. Of course, this was the logic of Plessy v. Ferguson, and California citizens are now on the same legal footing the whole country was on in 1896!

To be fair, though, I can’t interpret the ruling as granting absolute power to the initiative process. The razor thin justification for the ruling here was that no substantive loss of rights occurred under Prop. 8 (nevermind that separate is NOT equal). This would imply that an amendment putting extra requirements on Muslims to travel would not be upheld. Instead, today’s ruling is more like if an amendment forbade Muslims from getting a driver license, but allowed them to have all the rights that drivers have by getting a state-issued driver permit. They could still drive, but it wouldn’t change the fact that the creation of distinct set of rules for a class of people is contrary to the principle of equal protection, a right that is not supposed to be granted by a constitution, but self evident!

Joe Nicholson

To the Editor:

Like others, I support activity leading to legalized marriage between any two adult citizens — in California as well as other states. But I’m having a difficult time learning where to direct my funds for best effect. I certainly don’t want to donate to the same nitwits who so dreadfully mismanaged last year’s No on 8 campaign.

How can I find out who’s leading an intelligent, real-world, long-view effort toward this objective? I believe many Californians — gay and straight — would like good reliable information on who’s doing what truly needs to be done. I’d be grateful for any enlightenment you would offer.

Paul DeLucchi

PAUL HOGARTH REPLIES: I recommend people donate to the Courage Campaign, Marriage Equality USA and the groups who are co-sponsoring Saturday’s Meet in the Middle rally in Fresno. These groups are focused on recruiting and training grassroots leaders.

To the Editor:

I am in favor of legislative oversight of San Francisco’s RFP process. However, I am more in favor of some legislative oversight of the City’s dollars when appropriated to the various stakeholders in the city, who are instrumental in getting Supervisors elected and re-elected.

It is most curious however, that Randy Shaw is now only critical of the RFP process, perhaps at a time when Tenderloin Housing Clinic is not getting the contracts previously awarded. He implies in his article, that the politics of the RFP process is a new problem. No one around City Hall believes that.

Tomas Picarello
San Francisco

To the Editor:

I’ve argued for some time that OFA (Organizing for America) needed to keep the fires stoked from Nov. 5th on. Things got too quiet and Obama disappeared, giving supporters the sense that the fight was over.

The second thing that was a mistake was making OFA a subsidiary of the DNC. But that seems to fit with the campaign philosophy of not making any real enemies. In that sense, I’m not so sure that OFA is as progressive as spoken of in the article.

It has become a part of the establishment party, so they are not going to go after the corporate chummy Dems who make up so much of the party, who are more interested in pleasing their campaign check-writers than doing anything for average Joe.

D. Glenn Daniels

To the Editor:

You think activism is hard there? Try doing this stuff here. We’re having a meeting with Planned Parenthood tonight, and we’ll probably find the air let out of our tires if we’re lucky. Maybe they’ll just get pricked with an ice pick. When they do that in the sidewall, you can’t patch them you know. Never park your car too close to where you’re holding a meeting; and if you have an Obama bumper sticker, vandalism is the price of doing business.

William Hamilton
South Carolina

To the Editor:

Nice article about demonstration and public speakers to save the Lifeline telephone service. But, when you check out the CPUC decision on next Thursday’s agenda,, item 28, the Commission has not moved one inch from their proposed decision for lifeline rate.

The points made by the speakers need wider public play. I think the issue of public safety, and the lack of emergency backup when cell phone batteries are not dependable, and seniors’ reliance on landline phones, as opposed to the seeming ubiquity of cell usage among growing numbers of people (younger than 65), are the most persuasive that the juggernaut needs to be slowed down.

Grueneich, the lone Democrat, has held this item over twice. Peevey, the utility exec, is the latest to hold it, but I’d guess he’s trying to marshal it through. Chong, who wrote it, believes she’s got it right. The Commission appears to be concerned that under the current structure, the size of the fund from which this is paid for, will grow out-of-hand because the Lifeline program pays carriers the difference between their basic rates and the Lifeline rate, in addition to the subsidy ($6.11) paid to carriers to reduce the customers bills — with rising rates allowed under deregulation, they fear a $500 million LL budget.

Wing Lancer
Berkeley, CA

To the Editor:

You don’t even know how happy it makes me to hear the news about West Berkeley Bowl workers getting a union. As one of the folks who helped to form the union at the Bowl and helped negotiate the first contract, this is just amazing.

The Bowl would have never been unionized without community support from Jane and Hilda, two of the most dedicated supporters … along with the help of the grassroots house and the wobblies (IWW) … and many other folks in the community. So I look forward to seeing the new Bowl workers choose to join the union and keep things moving forward …

And the only way to do that is to build solidarity among workers across the community … so that when ATT workers need help they get it and the same goes for Bowl workers and Honda workers …

We’re gonna roll the union on …

Chuck McNally

You can submit letters to the editor by clicking on this link: or by writing to:

Beyond Chron
126 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-771-9850 (phone)

Filed under: Archive